Eric is the founding father of Factory Sealed. He lets this go to his head at every possible opportunity, flaunting his power and influence to enslave the minds of the populace.
Not really; he’s not that awesome. In reality Eric is a cool dude from America with a penchant for pineapples, retro gaming and talking as much nonsense as is humanly possible. He is particularly adept at the latter and has been described by fellow Factory Sealed member Dan Curtis as talking out of his arse on more than one occasion.
An old veteran of gaming sites, Eric has done practically every job in the world ranging from editor to IT monkey. He’s even dabbled in killing bugs professionally.
Perhaps Eric’s crowning achievement in life – other than somehow managing to become a father – is being the first human to throw a pineapple (with great enthusiasm) into the Grand Canyon. Upon doing so, he looked beyond pleased with himself, and declared ‘Solid!’ to the camera as the pineapple still plummeted to the dusty earth below.
When Eric’s powers are combined together with Dan’s, a bizarre thing happens where, despite their cultural backgrounds, madness and hilarity reigns. Whether it’s the clash of their speaking styles, a big debate about grammar or just creating the most ludicrous way to break games, something special happens every time they get off their backsides and actually do some work.
From Eric you can expect the unexpected; he has more bizarre anecdotes than most of the population of a small town and will always have something mad/entertaining to say. So if he comes out with something like ‘on that like lip hair on grandma’, this is normal behavior.
Dan hails from the merry old land of England, where grey skies, poor teeth, and a general lack of proper spelling reign supreme. An original founding member of ManaTank, Dan felt the call of the wild grey yonder and set forth on an adventure to see just how British he could become. He recently returned with a hearty “Pip pip” and quite a stiff upper lip.
While Dan claims to be a well-rounded gamer, he mainly stuffs his eyes with RPGs of all shapes and sizes (yes, even the fat ones), retro-style 3D platformers, and anything covered in Batman. When he’s not sat in front of the telly in his increasingly odorous knickers, he can be found about the streets of England engaging with the locals in a rousing match of “Who can shout the loudest at the bus stop?” or “Who can beat their reflection in an argument?” For a better idea of Dan as a whole, just watch an episode of Geordie Shore.
Dan is no stranger to the gaming world, and through the sheer design of the universe, was brought together with Eric and Jess during the dark ages of Voldemort Towers. Upon toppling the towers, Dan went on to serve as a founding member and editor for ManaTank and has even been known to dabble in making videos. In his professional life he sits at a desk and pretends to put words together for a paycheck.
One might expect a certain modicum of class from a man who calls the land of the Queen his home, but Dan cannot be bothered with such drivel. Tangents, silly British slang, and fat American jokes comprise the majority of Dan’s waking moments. Just be sure to keep a rag handy, for he’s been known to nearly wet himself upon sight of even the smallest of Lucky Charms boxes.
So you want to know all aboot Jess Clarkson, ey? Well, you’ve come to the right place… ey.
Jess is a fine young lady from the seemingly misspelled city of Tronno – one of the few places in Canada that people actually decided was just the right amount of cold to settle down and a form a colony.
Her hobbies include gluten-free, non-dairy, vegan diets and Fallout.
It’s not very well known, and spoiling it here may have dire consequences for the safety of her city, but Jess is, in fact, Tronno Batman’s sidekick. Together she and this costumed madman roam the streets of Canada atop their caped Moose (Mooses? Meese?), yelling ‘Aboot!’ and showering their enemies in a glorious hail of poutine and maple syrup.
When Jess isn’t engaged in acts of civil heroineism, she manages to claw her way out from under the covers each morning and drag herself to the computer where she proceeds to mold the minds of tomorrows leaders without ever getting dressed.
Jess is an old friend (read: tolerant of) Eric and Dan and she rounds out the trio of the three longest standing members of the original Voldemort Towers crew. There she served as a contributing writer before finding herself whisked away by the loving arms of ManaTank mere moments before the towers came crumbling down.
In a community largely dominated by men (and boys pretending to be men), Jess brings a unique perspective to the gaming world through her ability to apply the principles of higher education to justify the importance of the brain-rotting hobby. In short: she’s probably the smartest one in the crew.
We’re not sure if he’s Irish, English or from a cave in the mountains, but one thing is for certain: Tom comes from the land of posh.
Although pictures exist that may prove otherwise, Tom affords himself quite a luxurious amount of time each morning to don his finest suit, cast an angled glance in the mirror and quietly declare, “Looking quite dapper today, aren’t we Mr. Ragan.” to which he replies to himself, “M’yes. Quite.” and sets forth out into the grey London day with his pinky raised firmly into the air. Tom is posh.
An old crewmate of the gang back when Voldemort Towers reigned supreme, Tom – after vanishing off the face of the earth for several years, living in a hippie commune and convincing himself he is really a horse named Archibald – came back from the brink to join the crew and reclaim his identity and talk intelligently about games. Unfortunately, we were only able to help with the former.
If we’re out to split hairs, Eric and Tom were the first of the bunch to meet while writing for a small, inconsequential site before that gilded turd covered tower rose up in the distance. There, Tom and Dan attended a conference together in merry old London where they were thrown into their first gaming journalism mission. Admittedly it was for a site ran by a turd, but it still felt special at the time. Tom has also travelled to Las Vegas to meet Eric, where they feasted on corn dogs before Tom spontaneously combusted when introduced to the Nevada desert heat.
Thankfully we managed to scrape a few parts that matter off the dusty ground of the desert and welcome Tom to the Factory Sealed crew where he brings his own take on all things retro gaming in his lovely British accent (thankfully he’s less incomprehensible than Dan, due to being from posh London). Did we mention Tom is posh?